University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Zoology Graduate Seminars > Selecting For Plasticity in the Harlequin Ladybird

Selecting For Plasticity in the Harlequin Ladybird

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The Harlequin or Asian ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) is an invasive species with a great number of colour morphs. One of these morphs (f. succinea) – the most common in invasive populations – also shows striking phenotypic plasticity. When reared in a cold environment dark melanin pigmentation is increased; a response that is in line with the thermal melanism hypothesis. Using a large-scale selection experiment I am investigating this plastic ability and the underlying heritable variation. Full-sibling groups are split over two temperatures, photographed, and analysed using image analysis software, in order to quantify the degree of plasticity (Reaction Norm) for each family. Now, nearing the end of the second generation, promising early results will be shown.

This talk is part of the Zoology Graduate Seminars series.

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